2013 Reflections, 2014 Goals

This has been the single best year of my life so far! And from where I sit, next year looks to be just as good. Let’s take a moment to reflect over the year, count our blessings in the Now, and ponder the greatness of the coming year, shall we?

Just 2 short weeks after the beginning of 2013, Matt popped the question (Click on pictures to read each post):

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A venue was chosen and wedding planning was underway:

I ran my 3rd half marathon:

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I celebrated my first Passover:

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Talked to a dolphin:074

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Got married!!!!!!! 🙂

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Honeymooned in Barcelona:

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Then Paris:

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Then Amsterdam:

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I turned 37:

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I had a brief moment of insanity and dyed my hair red:

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I decided to go back to school and change careers, and I ended my wedding planning career the week of Halloween:

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Had a lot of fun celebrating with family and friends:

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My sister and I went to Ohio to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dad:

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Evan and Grace turned 4:

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Matt turned 35:

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We celebrated his birthday and Hanukkah:

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Celebrated Christmas with some of my favorite people:

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I am so very grateful for this life God has blessed me with. I usually only write about the good stuff on here, and it’s a great way to acknowledge my blessings and be grateful. Of course there are hard times and challenges, but even through those I truly believe God has a great lesson built in there for me. I’m basking in all the Love bestowed upon me. Thank You.

As I look forward to 2014 I’m beyond excited for the possibilities it can hold. I’m kicking the year off right on a bucket list trip to Napa Valley 🙂 When I get back it will be time to focus on some big goals for the new year. I’m going to call them goals rather than resolutions, because I’m pretty good at achieving my goals. Just for fun, let’s set 14 goals for 2014.

Goal 1:

Start a family. This makes me so excited and nervous all in one. I finally found the love of my life and want so much to have a little family together.

Goal 2:

Buy a house.

Goal 3:

Build a new career. I don’t think life should stop with a baby, and I am excited to build a new career.

Goal 4:

Get a new car. It’s just time.

Goal 5:

Do more yoga.

Goal 6:

Do a barre fitness class.

Goal 7:

Do pilates.

Goal 8:

Run a race.

Goal 9:

Floss my teeth everyday. This one is going to be hard. I’m really bad about it 😦 We better just say every other day, that will be an improvement to my once a month. Or, how about once a week? 😉 Let’s go with that for now.

Goal 10:

Monthly dates with my girl friends. You know who you are.

Goal 11:

Eat at the Elevage Restaurant at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa.

Goal 12:

Attend more blogger functions.

Goal 13:

Visit family in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Goal 14:

Focus on balance in all areas of my life.

I wish you all a healthy,  blessed New Year filled with positivity, love and light. Happy New Year!!!!!!

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Holy Vegetabley!

Today I was needing vegetables big time. I did try to squeeze some into my weekend, but for the most part it was eating out, and indulgence.  Here’s a summary of my weekend.  Friday night out to Outback Steakhouse:

A Bloomin Onion and wings (their wings are really good).

After a few wings and a handful of onions,I only had a couple bites of this steak and some fries, and I was uncomfortably full.

Saturday I set up for a wedding and a graduation from electrical school party.  Had a PB&J on the way:

I don’t usually get to see the cake.  I’m gone before the wedding.  But  I came back and stayed for the wedding:

I was able to have a piece too.  But that and the dinner from La Septima escaped my camera.  It was roast pork, black beans and yellow rice and a salad.  Very good.  Cake was white cake with chocolate chips from Alessi’s Bakery in Tampa.

Cross Creek Ranch has 2 event venues.  The Carriage House Stable where the wedding was, and the French Country Inn Bed and Breakfast where the graduation party was.  The venues are far enough apart that they were going on at the same time without a clue to the other:

I didn’t get to try this cute cake.

I got home late and crawled into bed.  I woke up refreshed and ready to enjoy a day off.  It is rare that the man and I both have a weekend day off together.  We made the most of it by starting out with a bike ride around our quaint little Plant City, Florida.  We went to Publix and picked up some kitty food and an apple.  Then stopped at Subway for a very early lunch:

I got a kid’s size turkey sub on wheat.  It’s just enough for me and only $2.49!  After lunch we peddled to CVS to pick up a prescription.  My basket was getting full at that point, so we headed home to unload.  Then back to downtown.  Downtown Plant City is very cute and quaint with antique shops, restaurants like The Whistle Stop Cafe, McCall Park which would be a perfect place for a Saturday Market, (anyone know how I could go about creating this?) and my favorite Corner Store.  Unfortunately, most everything is closed on Sunday’s, so I will definitely do this adventure again on a Saturday.

After our adventure, we came home, showered and headed to Tampa to see the fam.  On the way, I snacked on this:

A honey crisp apple and Justin’s peanut butter.  Hung out at my sister’s for a while then went out to eat at Bahama Breeze.  We all shared some appetizers:

Habanero wings rock!

Giant onion rings.

Firecracker shrimp.

And for my dinner I got a much needed salad:

I also had a little of the man’s chicken dish:

Stuffed to the gills again.

So here it is Monday, and while I enjoyed the weekend’s fare, I do not enjoy how it makes me feel.  Too much fried food!  I started my day off with a small Cliff Bar (I was still not hungry).  Then I went to the gym, bank, grocery store, Halloween store, and came home and got to cookin.

I only want veggies right now, so I got to choppin up a plethora for a hearty veggie chili:

In the saute pan with a little olive oil salt and pepper goes:

-2 carrots diced.

-2 stalks celery diced,

-1 yellow pepper diced

-1 green pepper diced,

-1/2 red onion diced

-1/2 yellow onion diced

-3 cloves chopped garlic

Season it up with 2 T of chili powder, 1 T cumin, a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of red pepper flakes.

In the meantime, boil a box of chicken broth with 2 dried red chilis.  When tender, take it for a spin in the blender.  Add can of green chilis, can of diced tomatoes with juices, can of kidney beans (rinsed), one chili in adobo,1 roasted sweet dumpling squash,  and sautéed veggies.  I also added about a cup of “Harvest Soup” I got from Amish country.  Basically It has red, green, and yellow lentils, and wild rice in it.  I also added about 3 cups of kale.  Add water as needed, I used about 3 cups.  This baby is loaded with nutrients.

Also on the domestic front:  A pan of pumpkin baked oatmeal.  This is probably the best baked thing I’ve ever made.  It tastes like pumpkin pie (not quite as sweet) with a cobbler topping.

It is soooooo good! I can’t wait to eat it for breakfast all week. I used Katie’s recipe as my inspiration but instead of the bananas and apple on the bottom, I used a mock pumpkin pie.  I modified the recipe on the can of Libby’s by only using a third of the sugar, and instead of evaporated milk, I filled the pumpkin can half full of milk and added Greek yogurt.

A great day to start the week!